The Arizona Cardinals have hired the first female coach in National Football League history, the team and the NFL said on Monday.
Jen Welter, a former rugby player at Boston College, played 14 seasons in women’s pro football and was the first woman to play a non-kicking position in a men’s semi-pro league, as a running back for the Texas Revolution.
Her impressive resume stood out where she holds a master’s degree in sport psychology and a PhD in psychology, as well as winning gold medals with Team USA in the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championships in 2010 and 2013.
Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said he was proud that his franchise broke down the gender barrier in the NFL, and stated “Tremendous feedback from across the board from everybody,” he added. “It’s been tremendous.” Bruce Arians said Monday that it was important to him to be the first to hire a female coach, The Arizona Republic reports.
“I wanted to open that door,” Arians said. “Coaching is nothing more than teaching. The one thing I’ve learned from players: all they want to know is ‘How are you going to make me better?
She tweeted on Monday night saying she was “honored” to be a part of the Cardinals. Welter’s first game as a coach will be on August 15th when the Cardinals take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the first preseason game.